“The concept “Kaimana” is a Pacific Islander meaning derived from the combined words of “Kai” the sea and “Mana” divine power (Pukui & Elbert, 2003). Meaning, "divine power of the sea." The hope for choosing the combined meanings of this word was to provide a visual landscape of how an initial reaction to a massive, powerful wave of the sea can be perceived as life-threatening” (Katoa-Taholo, 2019). However, if the divine power of the sea is revealed, it can manifest itself as a formidable wave of support, skills, and services from culturally responsive mental health and well-being networks.
This powerful sea can provide important skills and insight into transforming a life-threatening situation into a manageable situation, where cultural considerations and important mental health resources are given to bring some sustenance and relief. Kaimana was created to open participants up to this powerful sea of mental/emotional well-being skills, support, and resources for Pacific Islander populations and to those that work with them.
The Kaimana Intervention curriculum is designed so that other populations, especially indigenous populations that experience similar nuances as a collective culture may use the Kaimana Intervention curriculum. Fully licensed Mental Health (MH) therapists or MH therapists that are under direct supervision of a fully licensed MH therapist and cultural consultants may apply their specific cultural traditions in place of the Pacific Islander ones so that they may adjust the curriculum to specifically match their culture.
“I’ve attended different mental health services and I think that it’s so different from the places I went to. I didn’t finish the previous mental health services because it was not able to help me with the different situations. A lot of the places I went to, they couldn’t relate to what I have gone through, and some of the other places didn’t want to take the time to listen but looked at things I’m doing wrong. I felt like they’re not really hearing me. I felt judged before they heard what I had to say. Some were telling me I needed to take medication, so I said “yeah give me them”, and then they didn’t see me the next day because I’d blocked them. But with Kaimana, it was good for what others had to say. You want to know what people went through in their life. It felt good expressing how I felt and then taking turns to listen and really hear them out how they feel. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of our culture talking about mental health. Kaimana is the first to talk about culture tying into our lives. Never heard of us allowing ourselves to have these conversations about mental health and traditional ways”. -TT 02/22/2021
“In Kaimana Group, it helped me to practice vulnerability in a safe space without being judged. And to work on things collectively as a group. Two things that I learned while receiving these services is that it’s okay to be vulnerable, not a weakness; and, I can do hard things!!” -LM 06/15/2021
Kaimana was different in that it was a group setting and that it was different culturally. I learned tools that I would take with me my whole life and hand down to the generation afterwards. It was a group I could be myself and felt seen. MV 06/01/2021
Since graduating, I have had enough tools to use. I do feel like I’ve healed to a point where I no longer need the support so regularly. It kind of happened together at the same time. Kaimana helped me realize that healing takes time and it’s possible to do the work and especially with KCC and their experience. It’s nice to be able to be in that same space. It had a super impact for me because I was able to understand where I am on this journey and be able to have patience with myself and I’ll get there or maybe I’m already here. Helped me to contextualize my feelings. -SB 02/19/2021
The group is super helpful to be in with other people from the community because we’re not ashamed to talk about it (mental health), there are other community members trying to break generational curses, and it’s good to know what kind of stuff we all go through. I put mental health on hold a lot, and so this was me working on it with someone else and not doing it on my own. I grew up trying to figure stuff out on my own. I’m super hopeful that there is something like this. I want to refer it to my entire family to figure this out. I never heard of a group like this JM 02/11/2021
“I was impacted positively in that I was able to see myself represented in others walking the path that I so often feel like I am walking alone. Kaimana was different because it was in a group setting and there were culturally relevant tools that were helpful. It was the same in that I felt safe to show up fully as myself.” Anonymous 06/1/21
“It helped me to say what I thought I'd never be able to say out loud. Hearing the thoughts of the other group members was healing. I needed to hear their stories too. I would attend again for me to understand more how I can fix my dark thoughts. It helped me see that mental health can be cured.” Anonymous 8/10/21